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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2012)

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01:00:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Sandy 13, New York City 13, New York 11, Hoboken 11, Manhattan 10, Connecticut 9, New Jersey 8, Nyu 6, Pennsylvania 5, Greenwich 5, Newark 4, Msnbc 4, Saybrook 3, Wnbc 3, Bill Karins 3, New England 3, Eastern Seaboard 3, Hahaahahaha 2, Adam Grossman 2, Atlantic City 2,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2012)  

    October 29, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00pm PDT  

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it is two minutes past midnight on the east coast. this is msnbc's live coverage of hurricane sandy. i'm chris jansing. we will be here all through the night along with meteorologist bill karins. let's get you caught up on how things are looking and start in new york city right now. where it is eerily dark. over pretty much all of lower manhattan. more than 300,000 new yorkers without power. more than 3 million up and down the east coast are i want sesti the dark at this hour. some of the worst damage here in new york is downtown, by battery park, where a near 14-foot wall of water has flooded the streets
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as well as the brooklyn battery tunnel which connects brooklyn and manhattan. that is one of two major commuter tunnels in new york that flooded tonight. this storm has left a path of destruction in its wake. the "associated press" reports at least 15 deaths associated with sandy. mostly the result of falling trees. storm-related deaths have been confirmed in new york, new jersey, west virginia, pennsylvania, connecticut. within the last hour, we've learned that a firefighter in connecticut died after a tree hit his vehicle as he was responding to an emergency. the new york city mayor's office reports that local 911 operators have been overwhelmed getting 10,000 calls in half an hour. ten times the normal number. one of the most critical situations that they're dealing with right now involves a big hospital here in new york. that's the nyu langone medical center. 215 patients, even as we speak, from adult critical care, pediatric critical care,
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neonatal intensive care, all being evacuated out of that hospital, moved to nearby facilities because the backup generator at nyu went down. let's get a check of the latest. let's go back to nbc news meteorologist bill karins. bill, what have you got for us? >> these things are going to continue to develop through the night but all the big issues that were caused in the new york city area was because of the high tide, the historic, epic if you want to call it that high tide. the only reason they use epic is that's never happened before. we shattered the previous record high tide we had in 1960 with donna. that's why new yorksy we're talking so much about it, not because we're here. if it was any other city in the country this would have been a huge, big deal with this much of a storm surge. the same as it was for atlantic city, new jersey. might as well just draw the line on the map from atlantic city up to new york because all of those coastal communities in new jersey were hit extremely hard by this storm surge. what are we left with right now at this hour? take a look at the size of this storm. we still have clouds from the
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storm all the way down in atlanta, georgia, all the way up well up into canada, and now the clouds, as the storm has been moving the wrong way, have pushed all the way back past chicago toward iowa. i mean, this storm is just ridiculous in its size and scope. we didn't see the storm close to maine but have 50,000 people without power all the way up there because of the gusty winds. just shows you the intensity and the size and now the duration of it is really what's going to get to us. we probably already have a majority of our people that have lost power. we may additionally maybe add a couple hundred thousand or so, but those numbers should be dwindling. the high wind warnings continue through new england. we still have some high wind gusts but this is the first time probably in about 12 hours we don't have any locations on here above 55 or near 60. atlantic city is the highest there at 52. so good signs that winds are slowly beginning to drop down. we're in the 40 and 30 range throughout the delmarva, d.c. washington, d.c., by the way, you had a windy late night. you had some gusts up to 60
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miles per hour which caught some people by surprise. further to the north in new england, finally the winds are dying off there, too. we shouldn't see too much more damage. the concern i have overnight besides additional winds is the heavy snow through areas of west virginia, pennsylvania, and also through areas of extreme mountainous maryland. chris, it's going to snow another 1 to 2 feet on top of the foot that is already on the ground. people are already stuck in numerous locations because of that heavy snow and downed trees. so just a multifaceted historic storm. the name sandy is almost guaranteed to be retired by the national hurricane center. i'm sure this will be a multibillion dollar storm damage. we probably had close to $1 billion in new york city, alone. >> we're just getting to get a sense of the scope of the damage. we'll see much more obviously when the sun rises. >> the jersey shore when we get that helicopter up and show people the beaches and the homes there, it's going to be ugly. >> thanks so much, bill. again, you'll be with us throughout the evens and speaking of new jersey, on the known now is don zimmer, mayor
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of hoboken which is right across the river from us here in new york city. mayor, thank you very much for joining us. give us an update on the situation in hoboken. >> we're facing a really challenging, very challenging situation here in hoboken. we got -- the hudson river has breached the city, north end of hoboken and the south end of hoboken. we, our hospital was thankfully evacuated yesterday, but has had to shut down, you know, evacuated safely, but has had to shut down and so now we're bringing in the national guard. we have a couple of people that we need to, you know, that are some seniors who are on oxygen. we need to get them more oxygen tanks and need to either get them, you know, hopefully we will. i'm sure we will be able to get them out of hoboken eventually but right now you cannot get in or out of hoboken and we've had a -- we have live wires, a couple of locations that are in the floodwaters, psg&e can't get
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here. we've had fires that we're dealing with. we called for assistance from other communities and, of course, they can't get here as well. so it's a challenging situation. but we've got all hands on deck working really hard to keep our community safe and so far i can say that, you know, all hoboken residents are safe. they're a little wet right now, but, you know, all reports are that there's been no injuries so far today. >> which is amazing given the fact that as you mentioned that there have been some fires and other situations where it's very difficult or impossible to get to. i had seen reports earlier today that there was 4 feet of water in some areas. how bad is it? >> it's very bad. i mean, we've got, i'd say, like, half the city is, you know, is flooded right now, and so passage is very difficult to different areas. fact you literally right now
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cannot get into or out of hoboken, so, yeah, and the fact we've got, you know, like i said, we've got these live wires where, you know, i'm extremely concerned where, you know, you have some people coming out trying to check out what's going on and, you know, in some areas if they step into the floodwaters they're really risking their life. so we're just trying to make sure that everyone is aware that it's a dangerous situation and we absolutely want them to stay indoors and, you know, we're hopeful we'll be able to get pse&g in here as soon as possible so they can, you know, make sure those wires are at least cut and they're, you know, deenergized so that it's safe for the community to come out. that's the major concern right now and also just trying to make sure that, you know, we've got some seniors we need to make sure to get more oxygen tanks. we're working, totally focus on that as well. >> dawn zimmer, mayor of hoboken, new jersey. good luck. thank you for taking the time to talk to us. >> thank you. >> also joining me now is christy geldart, director of
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d.c. emergency management agency. it's good to talk to you. the national weather service had been warning up the potomac was seeing some of the worst flooding they've had since '96. what's the situation there? >> yeah, we've seen the waters rising pretty rapidly. we're really paying attention to our high tide time at just after 9:00 tomorrow morning. so we'll see where that crests at. we've been running models all day. it could be a pretty bad situation down along the potomac. >> do you have a sense of the kind of damage that you're going to see once light comes? >> we've got some pretty good estimates coming in. we've got several trees down on major roadways. we've got several houses, about four or five reported so far with trees on the houses, themselves. major roadways and intersections out of power. we haven't seen such widespread power outages amongst our customers and residents, however, we've got some major intersections that are down
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right now and, you know, the power crews can't get out until we get below that 35 mile an hour sustained wind to start doing some of the restorations that we need to get done and we're concerned about some of our critical infrastructure as well. some of the backup generation has come down. so we're pretty concerned about some of those areas as well. so we're hoping those winds die down and we can get the crews out there to start doing some restoration. >> i don't know if you had a chance to hear dawn zimmer, the mayor of hoboken who was just on talking about the difficulty of getting help to people who need it. fact, that mayor has had to call in help from the national guard. what kinds of calls you been getting in to 911? and have you been able to answer them? >> yes, we've actually been keeping up both with our 9111 and 311 which are the nonemergency calls we're getting for assistance. we've had our national guard on board pretty much all afternoon and evening. and our fire crews and police crews running pretty much
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continuous with our larger vehicles. so we've been able to sustain a pretty good show as the storm has gone on and made sure we've done so, the calls we need to. however, with the sustained winds that continue through the morning and the rain continuing, i don't think we're out of this yet. >> so the advice for people tomorrow is just to hunker down for another day? >> absolutely. and then we're thanking the federal government for not being open so we can do the work we need to do in our city. >> chris geldart. we appreciate it. let me bring in jonathan dientz, reporter for wnbc. he's been covering the tri-state area here. you've been in since early this morning, john than. thank you for sticking around. let's go through major things we've been talking about in this area. maybe the most dramatic visually is that crane. you have this super high-rise. they call it a billionaires apartment building in manhattan. what happened there? what's the situation now? >> 2:30, 3:00 this afternoon,
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huge wind gusts began hitting manhattan and this crane that had been inspected suddenly, you know, basically blew with the wind and went backwards and over and literally began dangling precariously over west 57th street here in midtown. so the fire department, the police department, emergency management officials responded to the scene, evacuated the surrounding buildings including a major hotel right there an 57th street. >> parker meridian. yeah. >> they're trying to figure out, what do we do with this? there's really not much they could do because the wind gusts, it's not safe to go up there and try to secure it at this time. they inspected it, said, look, we hope it holds. right now we've at least cleared the area and hope it holds until the winds die down and we can secure it or replace it. >> there's the remarkable video of it. it actually collapsing. so it may be a little while -- >> that's 70 stories up. >> and the mayor actually said it may not have been that this was any negligence on the part
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of the company that owns and operates the crane. it may just have been a weird gust of wind that caught it in the wrong place. they really don't know what happened, do they? >> the cranes are put up there allowed to sway in the wind. that gives it give so it makes it less likely to fall and collapse. an investigation is going to be done. they're going to look into ha happened here. we had crane collapses in 2008 where people were ikilled. the city cracked down on the installation and operation of the cranes over the last several years so they're going to take a very hard look at what went wrong here. >> we were hearing maybe about 20 minutes ago or so from rehema ellis who was dispatched to nyu medical center where they had a backup jgenerator problem. now an evacuation. it would be hard to overstate the drama. you have patients, critical care patients who are being taken out of hospital when there's literally no light anywhere around. lower manhattan has been plunged into darkness. >> right. this is nyu medical center which is right along the east river. so it's right in that zone. just a few blocks down at 14th
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street con ed substation suffered an explosion, so it's unclear if that caused some power outages. >> there's the video. it's a pretty remarkable piece of video when you see that explosion going off in the middle of your screen. >> the hospital is 20 blocks from there. unclear if that's what caused the initial pow er outage or problems. the east river overflowing its banks on the east side of manhattan causing flooding. unclear if that's what caused the backup generators to go in the hospital. regardless, a major problem at nyu medical center that they have to evacuate 215 patients, ambulances literally lining up out front. patients, neo nates, babies, adult elderly patients in critical care units literally being carried down the steps, loaded into ambulances and sent to other hospitals here in manhattan. mt. sinai, for example, saying they're accepting them. the problem so bad at nyu now the phones aren't working so they are having a tough time contacting families to alert them. and that it's the other hospitals, mt. sinai, for example, when it receives a patient it will then call the
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next of kin to advise them that the patient has been moved there. >> we also have video in the neighborhood that's called chelsea, where i live in manhattan. i think this is along 8th avenue. and the front of a building just came off. i mean, it looks like a dollhouse. you can actually look into the rooms in that old apartment building. >> right. i believe it was a four-story building. had a business down front and several tenants living above. the whole facade came down. fortunately no one injured in that case. it was a 100-year-old building here in the city. the fire department called in and amid the tough winds literally tried to work to render that building safe and residents on either side of that building also had to be evacuated. >> we haven't talked a lot about connecticut but it's been a very bad night, day and night in connecticut for a number of communities. i know some of these towns. you live in connecticut now. some of these towns have been flooded. and in greenwich, which is one of the probably, you know, most expensive places to live in the
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manhattan suburban area, got hit with some fires tonight. >> yeah. you have right along the waterfront in the shore communities some multimillion dollar homes and one of them caught fire. and the fire department because of the flooding that was going on and the electrical problems was having a very digital tiffie getting to this one home. they couldn't. they were able to rescue the residents but couldn't put out the fire. they had to back away because of the flooding and concerns about electrical lines down. that house burned and spread to three other homes in this waterfront community. so much so that emergency officials up there say at least four houses burned down as a result of this fire. and they literally have hundreds of residents who did not heed warnings to get out because of the flood warnings. so now in greenwich, connecticut, you've got police, you've got the national guard going in and rescuing people and trying to help evacuate them under very difficult conditions with flooding, with winds, with
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rain, with fire, with power lines down. it's a very tough situation in greenwich. on top of that, further north in easton, connecticut, you had a firefighter responding to an emergency and a tree literally came down on his vehicle and apparently he suffered some sort of head injury and also suffered a cardiac arrest and he died in the line of duty trying to respond to a fire there. you have towns like westport, connecticut, where 80% of the residents are without power. in new york city, 670,000 customers without power. it is the biggest outage in new york city history. according to con ed. and that they say at least four days, there were certain areas that was intentionally shut down because of the sea water. four days for them. at least seven days for people who have power lines down. the overhead power lines. seven days for repairs there. lots of damage. lots of inconvenience. and, of course, tragically some deaths as well. >> we're also, i'm being told we
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now have a chunk of tape from earlier today. this is some of what we saw in connecticut. >> just over the last 20, 30 minutes the wind has been unbelievable. this house, hours ago, was in fine shape. but the waves have just been relentless. just pounding through. ripping away part of the outer wall. goodness gracious. part of the foundation of the house being sheered away. unbelievable. winds have been out of the north. power's out all over the peninsula. not expecting much improvements over the next several hours. my, goodness. the wind has just been insane. we haven't seen much of a shift in the wind, either. everything has been from north to south. not much in terms of rain. it's all coming in. all coming in just right off the
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water, itself. again, in sheets. some streets are flooded on the other side of the peninsula. some roadways are covered with water. it's coming up on that side, too. trees, huge trees, some of them look like they've been around for over a century, knocked down. branches, over many of the roadways. people are going to wake up and this community is going to look very different. the rhythm of. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do. wears off.
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5.7 million people along the northeast corridor are without power right now. and tonight the entire public transportation system in new york city is still shut down. joining me now is metro transportation authority spokesman kevin ortiz. kevin, thanks very much for joining us. give us an update, how are things look? let's start with the subways. >> well, essentially we've seen some flooding, water infiltration in our underriver tubes, most notably in our under h-river tubes in lower manhattan. so those are tubes for the 4, 5, "f" lines have seen flooding. to what extent we're trying to assess at this time. >> this is a system that's critical to new york city operating. about 5.2 million passengers a day travel new york city subways. how quickly will you be able to get in there and how quickly do you think you'll have an
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assessment of when you'll be able to get at least part of the system up and running? >> well, it's really difficult to predict the amount of time required to pump water from a tunnel. bring, you know, bring in equipment as well, back at the surface. it really does depend on the height of the storm surge and right now we're really trying to assess, go in and get a sense of how bad it is down there. but, you know, essentially depending on how bad it is, it could be anywhere between 14 hours to 4 days, you know, before we can get all the water out o tlp. and then after that we would obviously have to inspect every inch of our rails. make any necessary repairs. so in essence this is going to be a lengthy process. >> what about the rest of transportation, public transportation in new york? >> well, you know, in essence, we're in terms of buses we've been able to move buses from
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flood-prone yeareas to safety. we have depots that have experienced flooding. we're in the process trying to assess and evaluate where we're at and hopefully within the next couple hours or by tomorrow morning we'll have a better sense of when we can restore service. >> kevin ortiz from the mta. thank you so much. what we do know now it is impossible to gauge the extent of the damage but it is looks like sandy is going to be one of the costliest natural disasters in u.s. history and our coverage will continue right after this. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if you could combine the capability of a pathfinder with the comfort of a sedan and create a next-gen s.u.v. with best-in-class fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon, highway, and best-in-class passenger roominess?
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what has been happening along the coast of connecticut is being described as mayhem. just take new haven where 40 trees fell in 1 hour. we've been telling you about the fires in multimillion dollar homes along the shore. in greenwich, connecticut. and in old saybrook, several feet of water. that's where we find our reporter jeff stecker from nbc station wvit. jeff, good evening to you. what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, chris, where we're standing right now was about up to my upper thighs in water about three hours ago, so the storm surge has definitely receded. that was the big problem around here. actually behind me, some guys
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are checking on a building here that fronts right up to the connecticut river. to give you a sense of where we are, this is where the connecticut river spills into long island sound. i heard you talking about the extent of damage there, and i heard from over here one of the guys yell, holy something. and i suspect that the damage is probably pretty significant. to give you a sense of how much the surge has gone down now, as i'm walking here, we're going to get to a point here where you can see this debris on the ground. this is where the water came up here. the problem being that around these low-lying areas, there are so many homes that are even lower than where we are, and there are a lot of neighborhoods in old saybrook and several shoreline communities that are completely cut off and still are cut off despite the surge going down. in fact, about three miles from where we are right now in old saybrook, we know there are two houses on fire and there may be a third and the fire crews can't get there because the roads are still impassable. there are several areas where there's still so much water that they simply can't get through. the other problem is this.
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trees down everywhere. when we talked to the police chief here in old saybrook, he said there was a point for a two-hour period where they kept on hearing tree after tree after tree coming down. and we still have some wind here. it's not completely gone yet. it's certainly nothing close to what we saw at the height of the storm. but there's still some wind here, and obviously with the surge, a lot of these roots have been weakened, and so there's still the fact that these trees can still come down. we've still got power lines down. and power out. so when people are out in the streets they can't see where they're going, there's lots of dangerous places you can get yourself into. and we have a lot of people whose homes are still surrounded by water and they told people at one point if you're trapped, don't go outside, go upstairs. get to the second floor. get to any upper floor you can because at some point there was just only so much first responders could do. they were kept away. and when we heard from the governor earlier tonight, you could sense a real tone that he was pretty ticked off a lot of
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people in these areas did not follow mandatory evacuation orders because what then that does is puts first responders, firefighters, police officers, in the position where they have to go in and save people. we've seen a lot of that around here tonight. and i know from my colleagues up and down the shoreline, they've seen the same thing as well. chris? >> i know there are reports as many as 600,000 people in connecticut are without power. there are entire communities that don't have any electricity. can you see power anywhere from where you are? >> reporter: that's actually 600,000 customers. when you're talking about people, it's a lot more than that. we only have a little over 3 million people in connecticut. you have a significant population here without power tonight. we're actually next to a hotel, a resort that has generator power. this is one of the few places in old saybrook that does have power. if you look at the power grid outage maps along the shoreline, nearly every community is 75% or more out at this hour. and as we saw with irene then again with the october
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snowstorm, it can take a long time, perhaps a week or even nine or ten days before the power gets restored for a lot of folks. >> jeff stecker from wvit. thank you for that update. to the point he was making that it's so dark outside, there's so much water out there, there are so many downed lines. take this advice. this came from the fairfield police chief. "we have limited responsibilities, please stay inside your house and we are expecting massive damage." and i think that that would apply to communities up and down the eastern seaboard. we will continue msnbc's live coverage of hurricane sandy right after this. [ ryan ] it doesn't get any better than endless shrimp at red lobster.
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more powerful than when sandy initially made landfall. we got through that okay. the back side of the storm moves through, much more intense winds. really ripping through a lot of the buildings here causing some serious problems. i'm on the phone with you now, chris, because the winds were too strong for our satellite dish to remain up on the satellite truck here. we had to lower that for fear of losing it. it continues to blow right now. it's been very intense for the last hour and a half to two hours. and there doesn't appear to be any letup in sight right now. if there's any good news, the rain has stopped for now which it had been driving here pretty hard, so it's nice to get a break from that rain. but there are already, as you talked about, several areas, not only here in cape may, but along the coastline here that are dealing with severe flooding. and that's only going to get worse as we see another band of rain come through this area. so the worst of the storm seems to be as it trails off and moves through, and that is not good news. hopefully those that did decide
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to stay behind and ride this thing out did not get lulled into any kind of complacency when the eye moved across because they are feeling the full strength of sandy right now. >> and for people who aren't familiar with the jersey shore, whose familiarity may be only from the television show of the same name, describe cape may a little bit for folks and give us a sense of how far in the water came. >> look, it's a beautiful place. just a very quiet little community right along the coastline here. victorian homes. a great boardwalk. and just a great community and people who really care about this area. many of those who did, you know, packed up and moved to higher ground, or moved into shelters just outside of the strike zone, it's a place where they're really concerned about keeping the town the way it has been for so many years. and so the damage that they're going to see as a result of this storm already talking to some who are staying in the same area
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we are which is the highest point in cape may are talking about how concerned they are that this may damage some of the older buildings from the 1800s. what it's going to do. they've been through other storms but as we've been talking about, chris, for the last couple days, there's never really been another storm like this. what's amazing is we've had the power go out a few times. it's actually back on right now which is hard to believe because we're really seeing some of the worst weather that we've seen from this storm. >> wow, that is amazing. jay gray, thank you so much. stay safe 3. again on the phone for us because it was too dangerous for him to be there live. one of the things we talked about a lot today and seen the most emotion was from new jersey governor chris christie who said to people that they need to get out of many of these coastal areas including atlantic city which was hit very hard, under water. well, he had a very angry reaction when the mayor suggested to some people that they could hunker down. here's what governor chris christie said earlier today.
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>> this is not a time to be a showoff. this is not a time to be stupid. this is putting first responders in significant, significant danger. and it is not fair to their families for you to be putting them in that danger because you decided that you wanted to be hardheaded. >> and, again, at this hour, sandy is still a massive storm. walloping the eastern seaboard. it did make landfall along the jersey east. joining me by phone, adam grossman of the new jersey office of emergency management. adam, what can you tell us at this hour? what's the situation? where are you most concerned? >> our concerns are statewide. we are going to continue to monitor as the night moves along and get into the morning hours, like the governor stated we're not going to put our first responders in harm's way. the state office of emergency management is just continuing to
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monitor the storm and the flooding situation. >> we had heard about an unknown number of people who were stranded in atlantic city and elsewhere. do you have any good numbers? do you have any estimates? >> no. i do not have any estimates at this time. these are numbers that continue to change and we'll continue to communicate with the emergency management personnel. >> wnbc reporting four deaths in new jersey. to you have any updated numbers on injuries as well? >> no, i do not, not at this time. >> there were, as we understand, huge parts of the boardwalk in atlantic city that were swept away. obviously other parts. we just heard the report from what was going on in cape may. tell us what the strategy is tomorrow once daylight breaks and how emergency management will approach this. >> well, once the daylight breaks and it's safe for first responders to get out there,
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whether it's rescue efforts or to assess, we'll see what the needs are and work closely with the federal, fema, to see what the needs are at the local level. >> adam grossman of the new jersey office of emergency management. it's going to be a long night for you and i know a lot of long days and nights ahead. thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. a couple of other things we haven't talked about in the last hour or so, one is if you're trying to get anywhere in the air. there have been 12,000 flights canceled so far. and there's been a tremendous ripple effect. not just flights on the eastern seaboard, but flights coming from europe, flights coming in from elsewhere, connecting flights. it's going to be a mess that has a domino effect and going to continue to have a domino effect. so if you have any plans for travel and that includes amtrak, buses, as well as any airline flights, it's going to be a mess for a while and you should check
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5.7 million people are without power. 13 people have died.
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and big cities up and down the eastern seaboard are going to be virtually shut down again tomorrow from new york and boston, philadelphia, and more. let's check in with nbc meteorologist bill karins for the very latest on sandy. bill, good evening once again. >> we're still trying to recover from that high tide cycle, chris, that caused all the devastation and destruction. all the way from areas of long island southwards down through the new york city area. the breezy point area of queens, and the rockaways, some of the hardest hit regions, going through the social media. some of the things you're reading about, incredible, about possible fires, people unable to get there because the water's still too high. thankfully the water will start receding shortly. around greenwich, connecticut, they had problem with high water, too. that's now going down also. i saw one stat that on long island approximately 1.1 million people, 670,000 of them are without power. so roughly two-thirds of everyone out on long island without power this evening because of this storm.
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at one point we did have a 90 mile per hour wind gust on islip. not a big surprise long island took the brunt of the storm with the wind damage and surge. as far as what we're dealing with currently, the storm has pushed inland, of course. over the top of harrisburg, pennsylvania. as we go throughout the early morning hours into tomorrow, it should make its way toward about pittsburgh then it's going to stall, pivot, then head up toward erie, pennsylvania, and buffalo. we're still in the rain bands right through areas in new york. we still have the southerly winds, too. so that's not really helping the water retreat as fast as we would like. as the morning hours slowly develop here, as time goes by, as the storm moves further to the west, we will see the weather improving. it already is in new england. it will soon get better in areas of long island. now, as far as the wind gusts go further to the south, not too bad. we still have 40 mile per hour gusts in baltimore. virginia beach still at 37. still a very windy night down through the mid-atlantic. whatever damage was done there from the winds, it should be over with.
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as far as the rainfall goes, not too many problems with the rivers. this was a 50/50 item. we weren't sure how bad the river flooding was going to be. we're going to have minor to moderate flooding around wilmingt wilmington, baltimore, philadelphia areas. we didn't see higher rainfall totals in those areas that seem to always flood. that being southern new england and northern jersey. you're a-okay there with the rivers and the final stop, once again, the snow that continues to fall as our storms moves west into the cold air into the appalachians, it's going to continue for at least another 24 hours. but just very concerning is reading one thing, chris, you can go online now on your computer and listen to the new york city, like, scanner traffic, and people are saying, they're just hearing a lot of alarming stuff and there's a lot of rescues ongoing as we speak. still a lot of people got caught in that high water. >> and as we look to tomorrow. and we've been talking all night from officials from new york, connecticut, new jersey, delaware. they're looking about obviously the immediate concerns. the danger that there is from
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these downed electrical lines, restoring power. getting the cleanup. what's mother nature going to be doing? will they be able to do the work that they need to do without the high winds, without the rain, heavy rain, generally? >> not tuesday morning. tuesday morning will be on and off rain. still gusts 30 to 40 miles per hour. if there's loose branches out there and stuff, it's just not worth the risk. wait until tuesday afternoon when you can finally get out there, start assessing it. may want to wait until wednesday. i know obviously wednesday's halloween. people are going to want to try to entertain their kids after being in the house stuck for 2 1/2 days. but if you can wait until wednesday, do so. that would be ideal. >> good point. second year in a row that kids, poor kids, haven't had a chance to go trick-or-treating in many areas in the east coast of the country. bill karins, thank you so much for that update. bill is going to continue to be with us throughout the night. we are going to be live throughout the evening with the very latest as we're getting in new information all the time. 51 past the hour.
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there's been so much drama from sandy. just one example, a transformer exploded and it sparked a huge fire on the front lawn of a home in tea neck, new jersey, while the homeowners were still inside and as the storm was coming in. wnbc's pat battle was there. >> as i'm talking, chuck, see the fire is burning up on that front lawn and at this point shows no sign of going out. one of the firefighters told me they really just have to wait until it trips a fuse inside the transformer, itself, before, sorry, jim, before, you know, they can do anything, so right now they're just monitoring it. those people are so thankful to have gotten out okay. the house, itself, is not on
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fire. again, but those embers creeps ever closer to properties nearby. tea neck firefighters keeping a good look at this and also i want to show you a lot of people had cars on the street. one gentleman told me his car is underneath a tree there. they did get people -- people get their cars off the street so, "a" they could get the fire trucks in there and "b" the fire wouldn't spread to any of their vehicles. just a very active scene in tea neck tonight. >> that fire burned almost three hours. pse&g, power officials, had to wait essentially for it to burn out. also earlier tonight, newark mayor cory booker talked with msnbc's rachel maddow about evacuation s aheaddeadly storm. >> we tried to convince an elderly woman to leave, she was in a wheelchair. she refused to go. the neighbor who was going to go looked at the woman, a much younger african-american female, said, i'm not leaving you in this doorway alone.
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she elected to stay to watch over her neighbor. just really incredible stories. companies here in newark giving free rides to shelter. so many things today have inspired me and made me proud to be part of this community and country. >> cory, how hard has newark been hit? what do you think your biggest challenges are right now as the storm continues really raging through the night? >> we've got blackout conditions in every area of the city. we've got storm waters rising in low areas. we've had some transformer fires. we, fortunately, got them under check, but remember, when power goes out, you have a lot of desperate situations. people who rely on power for their medical conditions, elderly who rely on power as well. so we're going to have a lot of that right now. the biggest thing i worry about is what i saw in irene is people not necessarily acting with common sense and becoming rescue situations themselves. last year, we had a lot of people trying to drive through flooded streets becoming stranded and having to be sort of marine rescued.
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often the biggest injuries we see come in the aftermath of storms and power lines are down, electricity is still flowing, and dangers are abound. we have folks spread out all throughout the city. we're working well, frankly, in tight coordination with federal, state, and local authorities. we had a conference call with the president, the governor was on it, myself and others. so there's a lot of teamwork going on. we've learned a lot from past crises. >> if you don't know a lot about mayor booker, he has a reputation for getting involved when there is a natural disaster. we've seen him shoveling the snow out of people's front stoops. having said that, today was pretty remarkable. he's very active on twitter. and so people were tweeting him as they saw situations developing. for example, at one point he got a tweet saying that there were a number of people who usually are by a particular bridge and that they were concerned about their safety at the height of this storm. and within literally minutes,
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when he finished from one location, he goes there and then tweets after that that he and some other folks were able to convince the homeless people to go to a shelter and they are safe and sound. this is a very proactive mayor in newark, new jersey. it is 59 minutes past the hour. good evening, once again. thanks so much for being with us. and there is a lot to tell you about that's going on with sandy. here is the very latest. at this hour, close to 6 million people without power. this is up and down the east coast. from maryland to delaware, to pennsylvania, to new york, and parts of new england. it is an entire region of the country that is in the dark tonight. sandy was predicted to be a monster storm. and she followed through. here in new york city, officials were expecting a storm surge of 11 feet. what they got was something closer to 14 feet. at one point, tonight, the new york city skyline was lit up by a fireball